Read Local

Vintage bike with pom poms on the handlebars with a green background
Dec 24, 2014

A group novel? Sounds like an exercise in egos, inner-circles, and bad writing to me. But I’d heard Kevin Rabas read his poetry, and read a little bit on my own as well. So, despite my reservations, I gave Green Bike a try and was pleasantly surprised.

Local Writers
Dec 24, 2014

In Dojo Wisdom for Writers: 100 Simple Ways to Become a More Inspired, Successful, and Fearless Writer, Jennifer Lawler shares the lessons she has learned practicing martial arts and successfully applies to the art of writing. Exercise 63 is based on a commitment to training. “The martial artist knows that to master the techniques, he has to commit to training….

Local Writers
Dec 20, 2014

Ah, animals.  Sometimes it seems every other thing shared on social media is an image of an animal being adorable or a quiz asking you to find your spirit animalShark week is huger than ever and even extinct creatures get us excited, as the buzz about the new

Cover image
Dec 16, 2014

A quarter of the way into Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber, I really wanted to like it because it's so beautifully written and is local to me, but wasn't sure I'd be able to make myself care enough for the character and her issues, which seemed a little too removed from what I can relate to and bordering on the softly mundane.

Local Writers
Dec 13, 2014

The incomparable Kurt Vonnegut offers this advice in How to write with style:

Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about. It is this genuine caring, and not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style. I am not urging you to write a novel, by the way -although I would not be sorry if you wrote one, provided you genuinely cared about something. A petition to the mayor about a pothole in front of your house or a love letter to the girl next door will do. --Kurt Vonnegut

Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker
Dec 10, 2014

Local author Natalie C. Parker's first novel has come out and it's a fantastic debut. Beware the Wild is a Southern Gothic fairy tale, with the quaint European village replaced by a rundown Louisiana town called Sticks and the fairy forest replaced with an eerie swamp infested with magic that's dark, rich and strange.

Local Writers
Dec 6, 2014

A picture is but a single moment, a frozen second of a story.  If you know the context for the moment—who those pictured are, where they have come from, what they are moving toward—then it is part of a larger story.  But if all you have is that picture and nothing more, then it is up to you to create the story it belongs in.  For a starter, find a picture you know nothing about and invent the details around it.

Local Writers
Nov 29, 2014

According to author Brian Kiteley, the exercises in The 3 a.m. Epiphany: Uncommon Writing Exercises That Transform Your Fiction "are stretching exercises, warm-ups, and experiments in form and style that allow you to test the various possibilities of the craft of fiction."

Nov 13, 2014

This fall, Johnson County Library has been looking at race: stereotypes, self-awareness, and what it means to look beyond the surface. We’ve invited you to tell us how you have been affected by race. Justin Carter, in the following essay, shares his experience. As a suburban white woman, it’s easy to subconsciously, or otherwise, believe that issues of race don’t happen in my community, my city, or even my state. My country, sure, but that’s Missouri. That’s the other United States.

Local Writers
Nov 13, 2014

Jack Heffron, in the introduction to The Writer's Idea Book, says "Writing is an act of hope". Here's hoping this prompt from the Chapter 5 gets you writing today.

Pages